By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 5/8/20
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people rushed to buy water in plastic bottles – just in case.
But Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) customers can skip waiting in lines for that bulk purchase because they have access to clean drinking water – for just a few cents – from their own water taps.
LCU Board of Commissioners Chairman William Little has complete trust in LCU providing safe and clean drinking water for city residents. Mr. Little, a professional hydrologist, retired after a 40-year career in environmental investigation and regulatory compliance. “I always drink tap water straight from the faucet – safer and tastier than any bottled water,” said Little.
With the technology to now perform ultrafiltration testing in the parts per billion (ppb) or even trillion (ppt), local municipalities – including the City of Las Cruces – test water on an ongoing basis in accordance with federal regulations to ensure that our tap water is safe.
In a city-wide video public service announcement (https://www.youtube.com then search for “City of Las Cruces Tap Water Quality”), City Councilor and LCU Board Commissioner Gill Sorg echoed the confidence of Little and said, “Las Cruces is the safest and healthiest water you could choose. In addition to rigorous monitoring under the Safe Drinking Water Act, it’s always available.”
“As a public municipality, our Las Cruces drinking water is under strict water quality monitoring standards year-round with a summary annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) that is mailed directly to all our customers,” said Joshua Rosenblatt, LCU regulatory & environmental analyst.
Sampling and analysis of the tap water produced by all New Mexico cities is conducted independently by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Drinking Water Bureau samplers and the State contracts with independent laboratories certified for drinking water analysis.
NMED certifies the CCR prior to publication and distribution to customers. Current and past copies of the LCU CCRs can be found on the City of Las Cruces Utilities Water Resources Pages: http://www.las-cruces.org/Archive.aspx?AMID=1046
CCRs are always published after the year’s data is compiled, so customers can look for the annual 2019 CCR in the summer of 2020. It will be mailed directly to customers’ homes, and is always available online.
Las Cruces water is naturally full of minerals and comes from deep groundwater reserves – some of the wells are up to 1,100 feet deep. Rosenblatt said, “If there is any sensitivity or taste preferences to our supplied tap water, a simple charcoal filter on the faucet or on pitchers is very effective in taste improvement and removal of any trace of chlorine.”
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: LCU Board of Commissioners, Chairman William Little, drinks water from the tap to encourage Las Crucens to do the same and not hoard bottled water at home.